Tribunale Regionale Amministrativo (TAR) del Lazio [Lazio Regional Administrative Tribunal], Administrative, ANSO, FEMI and Open Media Coalition v. Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM), 2184/2014

Document type
Court Decision
(1) The associations for the defense of freedom of information as well as those representing web-tv, micro web-tv, micromedia hyperlocal, blogs and video blogs, information portals, aggregators and video companies active in the online press are entitled to challenge AGCOM Regulations regarding Online Copyright Enforcement (AGCOM Regulation).
(2) The AGCOM Regulation does not primarily enforce copyright but any failure to comply with an order of the Authority. Therefore, this order cannot be considered illegitimate for (a) AGCOM's incompetence to introduce a para-judicial procedure to enforce copyright or (b) inconsistency between this procedure and the rules of law which entrust to the ordinary courts the enforcement of copyright, or even, for (c) breach of the principle of the judge previously ascertained by law in so far as judicial review of AGCOM measures is done by the administrative judge, rather than civil or criminal.
(3) The AGCOM Regulation does not violate EU or national law in so far as it provides that the order is addressed only to hosting and access service providers and not to uploader, manager of the page and the website operator. This is because EU and national law provide that ISPs may be subject to supervisory authorities' measures aimed at limiting the negative externalities of their activities (see Art. 8(3), Dir. 2001/29/EC and Art. 11, Dir. 2004/48/EC).
(4) The AGCOM Regulation does not violate the adversarial principle in so far as it provides a very short deadline for the submission of counter-arguments. Actually, this principle governs criminal and civil proceedings, and possibly administrative proceedings of contentious nature. It does not apply to purely administrative proceedings, which are governed by the principle of "participation in the proceedings", which can be balanced for reasons of urgency that the authority may identify.
(5) The question of the constitutionality of Articles 5(1), 14(3), 15(2), and 16(3), Legislative Decree 70/2003 and Article 32bis(3), Legislative Decree 177/2005, on the basis of which the AGCOM Regulation was adopted,  is not manifestly unfounded. Those provisions may infringe on (a) the principles of "statutory reserve" and judicial protection provided in defense of freedom of expression and economic initiative, as well as (b) the criteria of reasonableness and proportionality in the exercise of legislative discretion and (c) the principle of the natural judge, because of the lack of legal guarantees and judicial safeguards for the exercise of freedom of expression online, at least equivalent to those laid down for the press.
Topic, claim, or defense
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Lowest Domestic Court
Type of service provider
General or Non-Specified
Host (Including Social Networks)
Type of law
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Administrative Request